If you go to the gym regularly enough, you probably know that there are certain things that you should always have with you. While we could come up with a comprehensive list of everything you could use during and after your workout, we’re going to keep things simple and boil things down to just five fitness essentials that you should always carry.
1. A Gym Bag
A gym bag is essential simply because it’s the only way you’ll be able to carry everything with you. Any bag you have should be big enough to carry all of your other essentials, but it shouldn’t be so heavy and awkward that you can’t carry it from station to station at the gym.
Yes, you can put your bag in a locker, but you’re better off packing it with the assumption that it will stay with you on the gym floor. You should also make sure that your bag has separate pouches for wet and dry items if you plan to shower at the gym. Also, make sure that you can wash the bag itself. It will start to smell, especially if you keep sweaty workout clothes and a towel in it for too long.
2. Gym Shoes
Having proper shoes for the gym may sound obvious, but it’s a little more complicated than you might think. There are shoes specifically designed for running, lifting weights, cross-training, and indoor rock climbing, in addition to all-purpose athletic shoes.
The best advice we can give here is to consider what you enjoy doing at the gym and find the best shoes for your activity of choice. If you’re more casual about working out and just want to lose weight and get in decent shape, a pair of comfortable and inexpensive athletic shoes should do nicely.
3. A Water Bottle
A water bottle is a must if you’re going to work hard at the gym. After all, you need to stay hydrated, and having a bottle of water on hand is the best way to do that. Most gyms have drinking fountains, but there is often a line, and many gyms have shut down their water fountains in the wake of COVID anyway.
A reusable water bottle is best if you want to stay hydrated while cutting down on waste. Having a double wall insulated water bottle will ensure that your water stays cool and refreshing during a lengthy workout.
4. Workout Clothes
Having the right exercise outfit can make the difference between enjoying yourself during a workout and feel like you’re going to fall over from exhaustion. Any workout clothes you wear should be lightweight and comfortable enough to be able to “breathe” so you don’t get too overheated.
Clothes made from moisture-wicking materials are best if you don’t like the feel of a sweaty shirt clinging to you. If you can, try to have at least a couple of sets of workout clothes handy at home since you will need to wash your outfits after a challenging workout.
5. A Lock
Finally, you should have a lock handy for whenever you go to the gym. Even if you don’t carry a lot with you and don’t plan to shower, there is probably something that you will want to keep in a locker, whether this a gym bag that you don’t want to carry with you on the gym floor or a coat that you wore on a cold day.
Most gyms aren’t responsible for lost or stolen belongings, and you can’t assume that a thief won’t go through other people’s things in the locker room. Having a sturdy padlock or combination lock should keep all of your belongings safe during your workout.
Of course, you can take plenty of other things with you to the gym during your workout. Towels are essential if you plan to take a shower, as are toiletries such as shampoo and deodorant. However, if you’re just going for an hour or two and you intend to clean up at home later, you will still need these five essentials at the very least. Make sure you have them with you and enjoy your workout.